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Gender bill expected soon

2012-08-01 15:28
Cape Town - The women empowerment and gender equality bill is almost ready to go to Cabinet, Women's Minister Lulu Xingwana said on Wednesday.

The legislation is expected to make gender equity in the private and public sector mandatory.

Xingwana told media at Parliament that work on the policy document, which would pave the way for the bill to be introduced, was at an advanced stage.

The bill is likely to list penalties for those who do not meet gender equity targets.

"South Africa has made commitments through the Constitution, various pieces of legislation, and international conventions to respect, promote, protect, and advance the rights of women. We have a duty and obligation to honour these commitments," she said.

Last year, the minister lamented the fact that at the time there were still 52 JSE-listed companies with not a single woman at directorship or executive management level.

"I must agree that there hasn't been much progress in the past year. This is why we have been determined to come up with the bill," Xingwana said.

The minister is pushing for 50/50 gender representation in political parties, companies, community organisations, traditional councils, and all other organs of society.

Xingwana said it was hoped the bill would become law early next year.

"We will therefore be able to come up with sanctions and measures that will ensure companies, organisations, and political parties comply," she said.
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